Initial experience with positron emission tomography/computed tomography in addition to computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in preoperative risk assessment of endometrial cancer patients
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEuropean Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology. 2021, 259 46-52. 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2021.01.052
Objective: Improved preoperative evaluation of lymph node status could potentially replace lymphadenectomy in women with endometrial cancer. PET/CT was routinely implemented in the preoperative workup of endometrial cancer at St Olav's University Hospital in 2016. Experience with PET/CT is limited, and there is no consensus about the use of PET/CT in the diagnostic workup of endometrial cancer. The aim of the study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of PET/CT compared to standard CT/MRI in identifying lymph node metastases in endometrial cancer with histologically confirmed lymph node metastases as the standard of reference. We especially wanted to look at PET/CT as a supplement to the sentinel lymph node algorithm in the detection of paraaortic lymph nodes. Study design: A retrospective study included all women undergoing surgery for endometrial cancer from January 2016 through July 2019 at St Olav's University Hospital. Clinical data, results of CT, MRI, and PET/CT, and histopathological results were analyzed. Results: Among 185 patients included, 27 patients (15 %) had lymph node metastases. 17 (63 %) had pelvic lymph node metastases, one (4 %) had isolated paraaortic lymph node metastases, and 9 (33 %) had lymph node metastases in both the pelvis and the paraaortic region. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy of PET/CT for the detection of lymph node metastases were 63 %, 98 %, 85 %, 94 %, and 93 %, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy of CT/MRI were 41 %, 98 %, 73 %, 91 %, and 90 %, respectively (p = 0.07). For the 26 pelvic lymph node metastases, PET/CT had a sensitivity of 58 %, compared to 42 % for CT/MRI (p = 0.22). PET/CT detected all 10 paraaortic lymph node metastases, for a sensitivity of 100 %, compared to 50 % for CT/MRI (p = 0.06). Conclusions: PET is superior to CT/MRI for detection of lymph node metastases in endometrial cancer, particularly in detecting paraaortic lymph node metastases. The ability of preoperative PET to exclude paraaortic lymph node metastases may strengthen the credibility of the sentinel lymph node algorithm.